I recently traveled to Nicaragua to visit two very special girls in my life that I sponsor through a charity, Compassion International based in Denver, CO. Compassion International is an evangelical mission that focuses on religious and academic education as a means out of poverty.
I have been sponsoring two girls for quite some time now and dreamed of the day I could meet them both in person. The visits were arranged through Compassion Custom Visits. My daughter and cousin accompanied me to Nicaragua.
The first girl we visited was Genesis. She has been in the program since she was 3 years old. Genesis and I write to each other often and I knew from her letters and pictures that she was going to be a very happy child. As soon as she saw me, she ran up to me and hugged me tight. We spent the day with Genesis and her grandmother and visited Masaya Volcano National Park. It was sad having to say our goodbyes at the end of the day and we all cried.
The next day, we headed to Las Chacaras, about 1-1/2 hours North of Managua to visit Gisella. Gisella is 8 years old and lives with her parents and 2 younger brothers in a rural farming community. We met her mother, siblings, aunts, cousins and grandparents. We spent the afternoon in the city of Leon for lunch and a visit to the park with Gisella and her mother. Afterwards, we took Gisella and her mother home and said our goodbyes.
In two days, I experienced an emotional roller coaster. I realized my dream and it changed my life. I saw how one person can make a difference in someone else’s life. I saw a happy child crying at the end of the day because I was leaving, and I saw a sad child smiling at the end of the day because I had made her happy.